Before you ask, no I am not pregnant.
We do, however, have a new family member; an adorable canine companion for our home!
Her name is Gracie and she is a (approximately) 5 month beagle/dachshund mix.
I’ve been meaning to get a dog for a while now. During my last years at my parents’ home, we had a beagle. When I moved out, I went into an apartment and wasn’t allowed any dogs, as such, I purchased some lizards and so, our family grew. We started out at a reptile shop where we bought our first leopard gecko. She unfortunately died due to an accident with her house. But then we got Cocotte (who we named after my sister, or rather, the nickname I’ve been calling her by for years), a leopard gecko and she thrived…and is still thriving.
Later on, we ended up returning to a pet shop and got a brown anolis. I fell in love with one in particular who only had three legs and a visible scar healing where he had recently lost one. My partner wasn’t too sure we should bring it home, because he was afraid he’d die on us. I was sure that if he was still alive, it was because he was a fighter and he would prove to be very resilient. What you have to understand, I work with students who have learning difficulties of all sorts, as such, I have a tender heart towards the underdogs. As such, we went home with our three-legged friend who we named House, in honor of Dr. House. He is doing great!
Then, last year, a co-worker of mine who heard that I had lizards at home, asked if I would like one more. You see, his son had one but wasn’t taking care of it. My co-worker couldn’t even remember the last time the little creature had eaten! After consulting with my partner, we decided to give the little lizard a new home. When I first saw him, I was heartbroken. The little gecko was naught but skin and bones and his tail was so skinny that it looked like it could break off with the slightest touch. He was also very aggressive, attacking anything that came near him and did not want to be handled at all. It was clear that he had suffered through some serious neglect. Well, we started by taking care of his primary needs, namely providing him with a UV lamp, a heat mat, a fresh bowl of water and feeding him every day and then began working on getting him to be more trusting of the human hands that came near him. Though he still refuses to be handled, he does not systematically attack anymore and now looks GREAT. We called him Ti-Loup (lit. Little Wolf) because he was such a fighter.
And then, not too long ago, I started wanting a dog again. It seemed like as good a time as any: we have our own house, our back yard is rather large and fenced, I’m home full-time for another month and a half. I went on the petfinder website to see if there were any medium sized dogs in our area. I wanted a good family dog that didn’t get too big. I also did not want a barker and wanted something with short hair. I’ve always loved both beagles and dachshunds and my partner was rather partial to beagles, especially after getting to know Big, the beagle that my parents have. I also chose petfinder over a pet shop because I wanted to give a dog a second chance. There are so many families that get a puppy and then abandon them when they move or when they find out that they are too much work, I figured that adopting was a good option. That’s when I found Gracie. She had been found abandoned and walking the streets. They estimated that she was born in February 2013 from her teeth (still a puppy!). She had been taken in by a non-profit animal rescue in our area called Nali Animal Orphanage and had been placed in a foster home to await adoption. We went to see her last Saturday and brought her home that very same day. Now, we get to spend a week to two weeks with her before finalizing the adoption process. At the end of our trial period, a representative from the animal orphanage will come check in with us to see how things are going and if there are any serious issues that would warrant her being placed in foster care once more.
I am very certain that we will get to keep her. No one (including my son) seems allergic to her, she is well taken care of and is beginning to adjust to her new surroundings. She is not eating yet, but has only been with us for about 36 hours so I expect that when she accepts that this is her new home (I read that the grieving period can last from 3 to 7 days) she’ll start eating again.
My son is starting to get used to her. At first, he would cry every time he saw her. Now, he actually lets her approach without crying. He has also started reaching out to pet her when he is well rested and she is lying down. It’s so cute! I have to watch her because she’s still a pup and will sometimes nibble when she wants to play and I have to watch my son because he has a tendency to try to grab things rather tightly (like her ears or her tail). So far, though, there have not been any successful attempts at nibbling or pulling.